April 20, 2006

we're gonna find the meaning of feeling good

The Debutante, 1998, Mark Ryden

* Rolling Stone wonders whether Bush is the worst president ever. excerpt:

"Now, though, George W. Bush is in serious contention for the title of worst ever. In early 2004, an informal survey of 415 historians conducted by the nonpartisan History News Network found that eighty-one percent considered the Bush administration a 'failure.' Among those who called Bush a success, many gave the president high marks only for his ability to mobilize public support and get Congress to go along with what one historian called the administration's 'pursuit of disastrous policies.' In fact, roughly one in ten of those who called Bush a success was being facetious, rating him only as the best president since Bill Clinton -- a category in which Bush is the only contestant.

"The lopsided decision of historians should give everyone pause. Contrary to popular stereotypes, historians are generally a cautious bunch. We assess the past from widely divergent points of view and are deeply concerned about being viewed as fair and accurate by our colleagues. When we make historical judgments, we are acting not as voters or even pundits, but as scholars who must evaluate all the evidence, good, bad or indifferent. Separate surveys, conducted by those perceived as conservatives as well as liberals, show remarkable unanimity about who the best and worst presidents have been."

* From an interview in the believer:

BLVR: Rumor has it that you turned down the chance to direct Disney’s remake of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner because you felt they weren’t interested in really exploring racism.

Harold Ramis: The way they wanted to do it didn’t have a lot to do with the colossal amount of pain and violence that swirls around racial injustice. It would’ve been like an episode of The Jeffersons. What’s the point? But who knows, maybe that’s as much as most people want. I can’t tell you how many people have told me, 'When I go to the movies, I don’t want to think.'

BLVR: Does that offend you as a filmmaker?

HR: It offends me as a human being. Why wouldn’t you want to think? What does that mean? Why not just shoot yourself in the fucking head?

* Can anyone help this average homeboy get his record contract?

* Another retail rant. excerpt:

"Let me preface this by saying that, as a person with a very small bladder, I very much wish public bathrooms were available everywhere, all the time. So I certainly feel your pain. I realize, and sympathize with, the fact that in an ideal world you could stop browsing through used CDs and take a dump, and pick right back up where you left off. But I'm sorry, dear Customer, we don't have a public restroom for you here.

"I don't mind you asking. Really, I'd do the same thing if Nature called. But after I've said, 'No, I'm sorry' I'm not entirely sure what else we have to discuss on the matter. Today, after I devastatingly disappointed a twenty-something woman, her mother was enlisted to take up her battle. 'You seriously won't let my daughter use your bathroom? That's ridiculous.' Full of indignation, incredulousness, and especially entitlement. She obviously deserved use of the store's commode. She wasn't going down without a fight, that was clear. I was informed that 'rules were meant to be broken' and that I'm 'absurd.'
"The real issue here for me is one that I seem to encounter often with customers, and certain kinds of humans in society in general. Almost always they are white people, and very often they are 45 years old or older. They clearly think that they are entitled to whatever they want. They seem to value rules in general, at least in that you'd always imagine these folks obeying the law, working the jobs that get them the luxury minivans they pull up in, telling their kids what to do, and so on. But when confronted by someone like me telling them they can't always get what they want, they are outraged. No matter how polite I am, this sort of person feels that shitting in our can is some sort of birthright. Invariably, they all eventually amaze themselves with a turn of logical debate in what they think is an infallible argument: 'Well, YOU must have a bathroom for yourself!' You can see the chess moves they've worked out, 2 or 3 statements in advance, in which they envision me admitted defeat saying, 'Inconceivable! You've outfoxed me this time, Captain. I grant you access to the John.'

"To be fair I get like this too, I'll admit, at least to a certain extent. When Panera Bread restaurant won't sell me a cheese sandwich, or even a meat and cheese sandwich without the meat, I can't help feeling that these monkeys are little more than malfunctioning robots. But I don't go around living my life with this sense of divine right or entitlement. It seems like these American assholes have grown so accustomed to getting what they wish, they're just plain spoiled brats. The specific issue of a bathroom aside, I'm just disgusted by the rude, egocentric, selfish behaviour of so many people. I too, wish life was laid out all pretty and neat and orderly just for me, with tides parting as I enter the room--who told these fuckers that they were the world's bellybutton? I mean, yeah sure, if you get a bad piece of food at a restaurant, send it back. Return something that doesn't do what they said it would. Refuse to shop at places with poor service or where you are not treated with respect. But get over the illusion that you are a snowflake, unique in all the world. The world is not your oyster. Above all, come to grips with the possibility that you don't know everything, and others have reasons for the way they run their shops and live their lives. I'm not about to explain everything about how the universe operates to you, you daft bitch."

* "I once shook hands with Pat Boone and my whole right side sobered up." -- Dean Martin


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